Wholesale and Retail Trade

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Most-Resilient-Countries-in-the-World.aspxThe Most Resilient Countries in the WorldGP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652017-05-11T04:00:00Zhttps://adminsm.asisonline.org/pages/lilly-chapa.aspx, Lilly Chapa<p>​Property loss prevention consultant FM Global released its <a href="http://www.fmglobal.com/research-and-resources/tools-and-resources/resilienceindex/explore-the-data/?&sn=1" target="_blank">fifth annual <em>Resilience Index</em></a><em>,</em> which ranks 130 countries on their enterprise resilience to disruptive events. The ranking is data-driven and assesses categories such as economic factors, risk quality, and supply chain. It allows executives to plan supply chain and expansion strategies based on insight regarding risks and opportunities, according to the FM Global website. </p><p>Giving a nod to new trends that affect supply chain resilience, FM Global introduced three new drivers of resilience to its assessment: supply chain visibility, urbanization rate, and inherent cyber risk. Supply chain visibility addresses the ease of tracking goods across a country’s supply chain. “The more visible and robust the supply chain and the faster it can begin functioning as normal following a major local event, the greater its resilience,” the report notes.</p><p>The urbanization rate is based on the percentage of the country’s population that lives in urban areas. While urbanization is typically associated with a country’s development, it can prove to be risky in an area with high natural hazards. And rapid and unplanned urbanization can create pressure on utilities and infrastructure, which can be a significant threat to the country’s resilience, according to the report.</p><p>2017 is also the first year that the threat of cyberattacks has been acknowledged in the report. The inherent cyber risk driver is defined as “a blend of a country’s vulnerability to cyberattack, combined equally with the country’s ability to recover.” This is calculated by determining the percentage of citizens with access to the Internet, as well as how the government responds to cyberattacks. “Countries that recover well from major events are those with a thriving industry in malware or cybersecurity, and where governments are willing to step in and help citizens in the event of a nationwide hacking,” the report says.</p><p>At the top of the list for the fifth year is Switzerland, an “acknowledged area of stability for generations” with infrastructure and political stability that makes its supply chain reliable and resilient. However, natural disasters and cyberattacks remain a threat to the country. </p><p>Also notable is Luxembourg, which was ranked eighth in 2013 but placed second this year. A growth in the country’s services sector, combined with its reduced economic reliance on oil and its business-friendly regulations, makes Luxembourg a safe place to expand operations to, the report finds. And due to its location, Luxembourg may serve as a new home for companies following the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.</p><p>At the other end of the spectrum, Haiti is ranked last due to its lack of supply chain and standards and its high rate of poverty. Similarly, Venezuela fared poorly due to corruption, natural disasters, poor infrastructure, and ill-perceived quality of local suppliers.  ​</p>

Wholesale and Retail Trade

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Most-Resilient-Countries-in-the-World.aspx2017-05-11T04:00:00ZThe Most Resilient Countries in the World
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Redefining-Loss.aspx2017-04-01T04:00:00ZRedefining Loss
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Surveillance-and-Stereotypes.aspx2017-04-01T04:00:00ZSurveillance and Stereotypes
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Crime-of-Opportunity.aspx2016-12-01T05:00:00ZCrime of Opportunity
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Supply-Chain-Risk.aspx2016-10-01T04:00:00ZBook Review: Supply Chain Risk
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Six-Food-Defense-Changes.aspx2016-06-01T04:00:00ZSix Food Defense Changes
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Safety-at-Sea.aspx2015-07-20T04:00:00ZSafety at Sea
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Surveillance-for-Security-and-Beyond.aspx2015-06-15T04:00:00ZSurveillance for Security and Beyond
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Strategic-Shrink-Reduction.aspx2015-02-01T05:00:00ZStrategic Shrink Reduction
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Chain-Reaction.aspx2015-01-01T05:00:00ZChain Reaction
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Retail-Theft-Inc.aspx2014-10-01T04:00:00ZRetail Theft, Inc.
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/the-intelligence-triangle.aspx2014-09-01T04:00:00ZThe Intelligence Triangle
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/target-breach-offers-protection-lessons-0013247.aspx2014-04-01T04:00:00ZTarget Breach Offers Protection Lessons
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/fighting-counterfeiters-during-holiday-season-0013014.aspx2013-12-20T05:00:00ZFighting Counterfeiters During the Holiday Season
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Shutting-Down-Retail-Theft.aspx2013-11-01T04:00:00ZShutting Down Retail Theft
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/loss-prevention-0012628.aspx2013-08-01T04:00:00ZGlobal Retail Crime and Loss Prevention Trends
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/asis-2012-seminar-showcase-0011133.aspx2012-12-03T05:00:00ZASIS 2012 Seminar Showcase
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/A-Wrinkle-in-Time.aspx2012-08-01T04:00:00ZA Wrinkle in Time
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/supply-chain-security-009867.aspx2012-06-01T04:00:00ZSupply Chain Security
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Teaming-Up-on-Loss-Prevention.aspx2012-04-01T04:00:00ZTeaming Up on Loss Prevention

 You May Also Like...

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Maturity--Model-101.aspxMaturity Model 101<div><p>​</p><p><img src="/ASIS%20SM%20Documents/1216%20Sidebar%20Graphic%202a.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:356px;" /><br></p><p>Maturity models are a tool used a range of business sectors, including​ manufacturing, software engineering, operations, and logistics. The model is often used to help set process improvement objectives and priorities, and it can provide a method for appraising the state of an organization’s current practices. </p></div><p>Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have been developing early maturity model prototypes since the 1980s. In 2002, CMU released the first version of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) tool, which was developed by a group of experts from industry, govern­ment, and CMU’s Software Engineering Institute. Updated versions of the tool were released in 2006 and 2010. </p><p>The Ernst & Young (EY) physical security maturity model developed with Caterpillar is based on this CMMI tool, and also on EY’s cybersecurity maturity model.</p><p>This tool uses a level 1 through 5 rating scale to define maturity levels: (1) Initial, (2) Repeatable, (3) Defined, (4) Managed, and (5) Optimized. For a hypothetical example, take the compliance component of a security department. In the Initial stage of a maturity model, processes are unpredictable, poorly controlled, and reactive. Thus, in that initial stage, the security department is conducting its compliance activities in a haphazard way—putting out fires when they flare, with no real established process for doing so. ​</p><p>When compliance reaches level 3, Defined, the compliance process is established and proactive—perhaps with guidelines enforced by a compliance officer. At level 5, Optimized, the process is so well-established, managed, and defined, that the focus is now on process improvements.  </p><p>​​</p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Teaming-Up-on-Loss-Prevention.aspxTeaming Up on Loss Prevention<p>​</p><p>THE GREAT RECESSION HAS HIT MERCHANTS HARD. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that more than a million retail positions have been lost and a significant portion of those jobs are not expected to return. With retailers suffering staff reductions at both stores and corporate headquarters, one of the biggest challenges for retail loss prevention (LP) departments is halting operational breakdowns that lead to loss. One way of doing so is through the creation and deployment of special in-store loss prevention/asset protection teams.</p><p>In an ideal retail environment, after inventory is acquired for sale and displayed, it is all sold and none of it is returned. That, of course, is not the reality. Out of any given inventory, some items are returned, others lost, damaged, or stolen. That’s known as “shrink,” and it is on the rise. According to the Global Retail Theft Barometer, an annual study underwritten by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, the global shrink rate increased by 6.6 percent when comparing 2010 to 2011.</p><p>One factor in the increasing percentage of shrink is the loss of experienced personnel who are knowledgeable about operations and procedures that can prevent problems that result in shrinkage. These workers are the front lines of a loss prevention/asset protection program. At the store level, for example, operational breakdowns from lack of experienced personnel take place across the spectrum of operations, leading to receiving errors, incorrect pricing of new goods or of merchandise slated for markdown, improper storage that results in damage to goods, unrotated perishable or expired items, and cash-handling laxities.</p><p>At the corporate level, similar personnel losses can lead to an absence of LP programs or the implementation of poorly designed and inadequate programs. The results can be catastrophic, causing wasted labor as well as unrecoverable losses that can spell the end of a business altogether.</p><p>The latter is not a baseless doomsday warning: in my capacity as the president and CEO of a retail LP consultancy, after having served for many years in retail LP with major multinational companies, I have seen retailers suffer these consequences, including two companies with more than 845 locations in 48 U.S. states.</p><p>Team LP<br>Companies may not be able to avoid personnel cutbacks or turnover, but they can mitigate the damage to the loss prevention program. One tested way to prevent the breakdown of LP processes after the loss of key personnel is to set up teams dedicated and trained to focus on LP and safety to help ensure that the locations are doing everything they can to limit loss from shrink and risk management exposures.</p><p>Like any good retail strategy, the LP team must have executive buy-in if it is to succeed. Unless this upper-level support is clearly communicated, and time budgeted, store managers will remain unconvinced that they should devote time and other resources to the team’s activities.</p><p>If the company’s head of LP is trying to sell such a program, part of getting corporate approval will be to provide return-on-investment data to company executives as well as the expected outcomes. In my experience, companies that institute these LP teams see a minimum of 10 to 20 percent reduction in shrink and accident costs per store. The cost of the team can be calculated by combining the time dedicated by each hourly associate and any ancillary costs. These ancillary costs can include items such as the cost of purchasing or developing training tools or of purchasing appreciation gifts to be used in a rewards program.</p><p>Set parameters. Once company executives pledge their support, the head of LP must set parameters for the LP team program so that the teams know what their objectives are. In the grocery sector, for instance, food quality assurance factors are imperative as are direct-to-store delivery procedures, while in specialty retailer stores, teams will focus more on higher-end product exposure.</p><p>The corporate LP department must create team tools, such as audits, checklists, and sample meeting agendas. The head of LP should seek input from other corporate departments, such as operations and training and development, as well as input from selected field leadership and store managers. </p><p>The LP head must also delineate communication avenues, including establishing a corporate contact point for all teams when global issues are identified. This could be a hotline or LP department contact person.</p><p>Some of my retail clients have chosen to implement teams that not only deal with LP but also with safety and risk management issues, including general-liability risk factors and associate safety and accident review. If safety is to be incorporated, all of the team’s activities should be laid out in the same way as LP activities, including a communication link through which issues can be reported at the corporate level. The assistance of corporate safety personnel should also be sought in developing related checklists, forms for problem identification and reporting, and other guidelines.</p><p>All of this information, when completed, should be compiled in a handbook and training guide. Sections should include member composition, meeting structure, team objectives, the communication process, and issue resolution.</p><p>Pick a leader. A store manager or highly motivated assistant manager should be selected to be the LP team’s leader—known as the sponsor. The sponsor’s role is to oversee and direct the team. That includes liaising with higher-ups regarding the team’s performance and findings. This person will also coordinate with other stores in the region on activities and trends.</p><p>Ideally, the person selected will be a top-performing assistant store manager—or someone with loss prevention and safety experience or who shows interest in these areas. This person should receive training from corporate LP on how to oversee the in-store team, how to provide support, how to keep the team on track, and how to accomplish the objectives without devoting more time or resources to these activities than called for in the corporate team directives.</p><p>Team sponsors should have that responsibility added to the key metrics on which they are assessed during their routine employee performance evaluation.</p><p>Corporate and or field LP supervisors in conjunction with the store manager need to pick strong hourly associate leaders for each team. These should be individuals who are respected in the stores, such as a well-regarded department manager or receiver. The rest of the team should be composed of associates selected by store management.</p><p>Depending on the size of each store, the LP team should be no smaller than three and no larger than eight members. I recommend this because above this number the labor expense begins to erode the return-on-investment model. If the retail environment includes a 24-hour work force, be sure to have representation on the team from all shifts.</p><p>To the extent possible, teams should be composed of long-term employees. The institutional knowledge of these associates is what enables an in-store LP team to succeed. Once a team is in place, wholesale changes should be avoided for the first year unless it is necessary due to ineffectiveness. Some new members should be rotated onto the team each year.</p><p>The team should be given something to mark its identity—for example, a special pin, badge, nameplate, or ribbon that makes team members recognizable to customers and other associates. Also, if at all possible, each of the team members should receive a small hourly pay increase for their added LP responsibilities. When members leave the team, a certificate of appreciation for their service or some other gift should mark the occasion. In this way, participation will be taken seriously by the team members and others, and good work will result.</p><p>Additionally, the LP team leader position has been used by several retailers as a management training step. Once an associate has proven his or her leadership capability as head of the team, the company places that person in the regular management training program.</p><p>Time management. The team should meet on a schedule set by the company—either weekly, biweekly, or monthly. When I develop these teams for clients, the team is directed to meet each week for one hour to set objectives and tasks, with one meeting per month dedicated to executing a loss prevention and risk management store audit, looking for issues such as high-end products that are left unsecured or an inoperable emergency door alarm, for instance. Another meeting structure might be a 10-minute meeting followed by 30-minute walk of the store to audit LP and safety issues, then a 15-minute resolution planning session, and a five-minute wrap-up.</p><p>The team sponsor needs to put limits on the time allocated to the LP teamwork—especially when a team is successful; otherwise, dedicated employees may overdo project work and shortchange their regular duties.</p><p>The team sponsor should also make sure that important boundaries are not crossed. For instance, at one store, an aggressive team leader embarrassed the other department managers with the LP team’s audit findings. This negatively affected store morale and caused the team leader to be replaced.</p><p>The team is empowered to identify operational breakdowns and to communicate them to local managers, but it should be done cordially and dispassionately. The team is not there to condemn peers or attempt performance coaching. This should be left to supervisors.</p><p>The team also has no enforcement role. It is most certainly not, nor should it see itself as, a replacement for shoplifting agents. The confrontation and apprehension of shoplifters is dangerous and must be left to authorized and trained staff.</p><p>Empowerment. When an audit turns up a problem, the team must be empowered to have it acknowledged, and they must see results. There is nothing more demoralizing for a team than to spot deficiencies, to follow the correct path to report the issue, and then see nothing happen in response because of a failure to act by authorities at the local store, regional, or corporate level.</p><p>But this isn’t just about team morale. Companies benefit when they act on team findings. When teams use the agreed upon line of communication to the corporation, and it responds, I have seen the correction of errors result in millions of dollars in revenue. At one store, for example, during an audit, the team found that a three-videogame multipack was being sold at the price of an individual game because of improper bar coding by the vendor. The team quickly alerted the company, which issued a recall of the product. In this case, the vendor was required to replace the bar codes on all existing stock and reimburse the retailer its lost revenue.</p><p>Senior management also needs to give the team feedback on what the team sends up the line. This should include acknowledgment of communications, information on when and how specific issues will be addressed, along with proper closure, and periodic commendations of the team for its good work. For example, the team’s success can be included in corporate newsletters and e-mails, or celebrated by regional management.</p><p>During my tenure as a field loss prevention supervisor for Walmart, we ran a district program recognizing the most effective in-store LP/safety team. The program caught the attention of founder Sam Walton, who implemented it companywide, leading to some of the lowest shrink levels the retailer had ever experienced.</p><p>The team should also be allowed to communicate within the store during store meetings, via internal e-mail, or in other ways that information is passed to associates. The team leader should review all communications to make sure they are targeted and clear.</p><p>My experience in the retail field and with clients over many years has proven that in-store LP teams, when properly deployed, are a powerful tool. During both good retail times and bad, effectively trained, managed, and supported teams bolster existing loss and risk prevention business processes, which in turn boosts the bottom line.</p><p>Keith Aubele, CPP, is president and CEO of Retail Loss Prevention Group, Inc., of Bentonville, Arkansas. He has previously been corporate vice president of loss prevention for Home Depot and divisional director of loss prevention for Walmart. He currently serves as the vice chair of the ASIS International Retail Loss Prevention Council.<br></p>GP0|#3795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e;L0|#03795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e|Security by Industry;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Checking-Out-Security-Solutions.aspxChecking Out Security Solutions<p>​</p><p>SEASONED RETAIL LOSS PREVENTION VETERANS CAN recall the days of checking credit card slips, examining cash-deposit line items, conducting spot audits, and physically counting marked-down items to stay on top of shrinkage and loss challenges. Today, loss prevention specialists rely on increasingly sophisticated technology, especially in the area of point of sale (POS). Among the technologies bringing benefits are cloud computing, video analytics, radio frequency identification (RFID), automated cash management systems, and access control via smart keys.</p><p>Point of Sale<br>Several technologies are helping retailers catch problems at the checkout counter. Chief among these are the cloud and video analytics. To take advantage of new technology, almost all large retailers tie their POS systems to a surveillance camera system. Cameras play a critical role when deployed to monitor cash transactions at the point of sale. When tied to POS data, this video technology becomes even more powerful.</p><p>There are two ways in which this video can be helpful. First, the footage is married to the register’s own data records. In comparing the two, it is possible to catch discrepancies that may indicate accidental loss or intentional theft.</p><p>For example, the video would reveal instances when items on the bottom shelf of a shopper’s cart passed through a checkout lane without being rung up. That could be an honest oversight or theft. The video might also reveal possible “sweethearting”—when a cashier gives items to customers for free by pretending to scan bar codes or by using other tricks.</p><p>An investigation can determine whether the cashier legitimately tried to scan the item but didn’t notice that either a technical error occurred or the scan was incorrectly performed. If the case involves an honest mistake, not malfeasance, the cashier can be given additional training.</p><p>At some retailers, the loss prevention team is small and doesn’t have time to review suspicious transactions. A solution in this case is to outsource the review task, but the solution itself can create security exposures because to do the task, third-party providers must have access to the retailer’s proprietary customer data and to its network.</p><p>Another problem with the concept of having a system that captures all POS transactions and marries video to data is the demand this places on IT infrastructure. Most retailers do not have the capital to invest in building an adequate IT infrastructure. The advent of the cloud, however, offers another option. The cloud makes computing capacity a service to be rented, rather than a product that has to be purchased at a high up-front cost.</p><p>The cloud also means that retailers can now store their POS and camera system data with an off-site host that is completely removed from the company’s private IT network. The retailer only transmits to the cloud the information that it wants to divulge.</p><p>It can also be useful to combine POS video footage with analytics. For example, ScanItALL by StopLift Checkout Vision Systems of Cambridge, Massachusetts, runs video of the cashiers’ and customers’ body motions through an analytic process. Mathematically analyzing the pixels of digitized video, the system studies how a cashier handles each item to determine whether it was properly scanned. It can interpret fraudulent behaviors, such as when a cashier covers up a bar code, for example.</p><p>Some POS systems can also be set to look for items that are left in the cart as they proceed through the checkout line. This can be especially important in self-checkout lanes.</p><p>LaneHawk by Evolution Robotics Retail, Inc., of Pasadena, California, uses cameras tied to the POS system to spot items in the bottom of the basket. The system also links the products it sees at the bottom of the cart to its database, which sends the UPC bar code of the item to the cash register, adding it to the transaction. LaneHawk is currently in use at more than 1,000 individual grocery stores in the United States. Evolution Robotics also has another version of the product for similarly identifying items left in the main section of the cart.</p><p>Carttronics of San Diego offers special modified shopping carts that cannot be removed from the retailer’s property and are automatically disabled if they have not traveled through the checkouts, putting a stop to full-cart walk-outs and bottom-of-the-basket theft attempts.</p><p>Alarms<br>Another area where cloud computing is emerging as a benefit to retailers is in the real-time monitoring of video and alarm systems. In this case, alarm data is transmitted through the cloud to the vendor that responds to the alarms.</p><p>In this area, the change over to the cloud may be inevitable. Every day, voice over IP gains ground, and as the company AlarmCLOUD notes on its Web site, “The clock is ticking on landlines. The security industry has accepted that telcos will be pulling the plug on public switched telephone networks.” Alarm monitoring companies are faced with having to run IP receivers in house to accept IP signaling and are themselves turning to cloud services. For a monthly fee, companies such as AlarmCLOUD offer to save the alarm company the cost of equipment, labor, upgrades, and servicing.</p><p>Store Shelves <br>Some theft occurs in the aisles and can’t be caught at the POS. There are systems to address this threat also.</p><p>For example, Evolution Robotics has a product called ShelfHawk that is meant to combat the growing organized crime tactic of shelf sweeping in which whole shelves of items highly valued for resale, such as diabetic test strips, are stolen in bulk by being swept into a booster bag (a bag commonly used by retail thieves), leaving the shelf bare.</p><p>The ShelfHawk system uses strategically placed cameras to watch selected shelves and to report on suspicious activities such as dwell time—the length of time a person spends in front of shelved items. A longer dwell time indicates that the customer may be waiting for a chance to steal what is there. When the cameras pick up someone spending too long in a particular area, the analytics recognize this and sound an alert so that staff can check on the situation.</p><p>The system has the added benefit to the retailer of recognizing when a shelf needs to be restocked, sending an alert when, for example, the last box of teeth whitening strips in a row is removed, leaving only an empty space.</p><p>To deal with theft of individual items, there are also tags. Traditionally, retailers worldwide made a large investment in tags that used electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology, the components of which include the hard tags seen clipped to merchandise, the detector/pedestals placed at shop egress points, and the deactivators and detachers used at the checkout counters.</p><p>While EAS systems have proven their worth in stopping thefts, or at least alerting staff that a theft is occurring, they cannot tell retailers what has been taken. For example, an EAS system will set off an alarm indicating that something is being stolen. By contrast, an RFID tag can tell the retailer that a black silk woman’s blouse selling at $125.99 was the item that slipped out the door. This ability to know which item was taken reclassifies losses from “shrink,” which is defined as unknown loss, to known losses that can help retailers pinpoint the items that are vulnerable and need additional protection within a store.</p><p>The system can also help identify vulnerabilities by department or store location. For example, if reports generated by the system’s database indicate that a number of watches have been stolen in store locations in a particular geographic area, these items can be moved to a locked case. In other regions where there has been no watch theft, the increased protection may not be needed.</p><p>The components of most RFID inventory control systems are the tags, the readers, and the software that usually runs on a standard PC, which is Windows based. Because RFID tags are contactless, their information can be captured by readers that are placed to cover an entire environment, unlike bar-code inventory management systems, in which a scanning beam must pass over the tag. They are also less susceptible to damage or wear that can destroy bar codes.</p><p>One example of RFID loss prevention systems newly introduced to retailers is the OPI Loss Prevention System by Optical Phusion, Inc. (OPI). The system combines wireless communications capabilities with passive RFID technology and software. Hand-held scanning terminals can be configured to scan retail products and return a product description and current retail price, making it simple and fast for a manager to walk through a store and create a complete inventory of items.</p><p>To catch shoplifters, each RFID chip returns a unique identifier when it passes through the zone covered by the RFID readers and antennas that are placed in the front doors of each store. When the RFID reader detects a tagged item, it passes the information to the OPI Loss Prevention Controller software, which then transmits a command to alarm. Jamison, another RFID development company based in Hagerstown, Maryland, has developed a converged RFID/EAS technology that is able to bring the technologies together for the retail platform.</p><p>Not far away are the days when this same technology will allow customers to merely push a shopping cart past a reader and swipe a debit or credit card to make payment without waiting for each item to be scanned. Inventories will be automatically updated and any items secreted on individuals buying other items will be read automatically and added to the bill.</p><p>Entrance<br>Technology is also making it possible for stores to have some advance warning when trouble walks in the front door. For example, a facial recognition software system from T-Mobile scans the faces of incoming customers to see if any match a database of known previous shoplifters, bad-check writers, wanted criminals, and members of organized retail crime flash mobs.</p><p>Accounting<br>The back office is another area where technology is being put to good use by security. For example, retailers are beginning to take full advantage of cash recycling systems that not only reduce staff time for certain tasks in the accounting office but also increase cashier accountability. These systems typically reduce the cash on hand in a retail store, create instant deposits, and can be tied to banks and armored car services for immediate provisional cash credit. The systems also limit cash access by employees, creating a deterrent to theft and armed robbery.</p><p>One cash managing system, The Revolution by Tidel of Carrollton, Texas, is now being used by a number of retailers including Whole Foods, Hy-Vee, and United Groceries. (Security Management looked at this system in depth in its February 2010 “Case Study” column.) The Tidel product employs a unit about the size of a large photocopier that combines a drop vault, touchscreen user interface, cash and coin counters and dispensers, and a biometric palm scanner.</p><p>When cashiers arrive, they don’t need to collect their day’s tills from supervisors who received them from bookkeepers who prepared them in the predawn hours. A cashier goes to the machine and places his or her palm on the reader. Once the unit recognizes the cashier, he or she picks up an empty till with an attached bar code, and the machine scans it, linking the till to the cashier for that shift. The till is then inserted into a slot and the unit automatically dispenses the correct amount of bills and coins. The cashier removes the till and scans the bar code off a canvas bag in which he or she will place all of the checks, coupons, rain checks, and any other “media” that are collected in the course of the day. The process takes less than a minute to complete.</p><p>Access Control<br>Access control solutions for retail have recently seen the coming of intelligent key systems. Resembling key fobs with a metal cylinder at the head, these keys are programmable in a way similar to standard access control cards, allowing the system administrator to set parameters such as times the key is active and store doors or display cases on which it can be used, all based on an employee’s duties. For example, the smart key may let a store clerk assigned to the jewelry department open the display cases there but not let that employee open a case in electronics.</p><p>Developed by Medeco of Salem Virginia, a division of ASSA ABLOY, the system also collects data on use and use attempts, so if an employee tries to use his or her key to gain access to a proscribed area, that attempt will be recorded and flagged when the data is downloaded from the key at the end of the employee’s shift. Data from the keys can also help managers pinpoint areas where employee training may have been lax. It can, for instance, note when a display case was incorrectly relocked.</p><p>Some retailers are also employing smart key systems on their truck fleet to prevent dishonest truckers from picking the locks on trucks, removing goods, and reselling them.</p><p>Enterprise Management<br>Some providers are offering Web-based analytic management tools. Such systems help companies make the most of their physical security data. The platform may be built to integrate and manage security, safety, and operational systems such as surveillance, access control, alarms, and exception reporting.</p><p>These solutions pull from several applications—video, access control systems, and internal assessment processes—for better decision-making. One example is the Encapsulon Control platform by Wren Solutions of Jefferson City, Missouri.</p><p>Today’s retailers exist in an era with fiscal constraints and persistent criminal threats. The challenges are great, but targeted use of technology can help retailers manage risk and preserve profits.</p><p>Keith Aubele, CPP, is president and CEO of Retail Loss Prevention Group, Inc., of Bentonville, Arkansas. He was previously the corporate vice president of loss prevention for Home Depot and divisional director of loss prevention for Wal-Mart. He serves as the vice chair of the ASIS International Loss Prevention Council.<br></p>GP0|#3795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e;L0|#03795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e|Security by Industry;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465